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  • Writer's pictureRadomir Kobryn-Coletti

Meme Marketing for Crypto - The Chainlink Story

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

Chainlink, are known today as one of the top blockchain projects in the world, often in the top 10 crypto market cap. They've amassed billions and are the global leader by market share of crypto data providers offering a suite of decentralised oracles, price feeds, nodes and other services.


But Chainlink are not only great technical leaders in developing decentralised blockchain services, they were innovators and first movers in the world of crypto marketing, adopting three powerful strategies of a master digital campaign:


  1. Meme marketing with a strong story including archetypes and narratives.

  2. Creation of a loyal meme army that supported and defended Chainlink.

  3. Guerrilla meme distribution, through 4chan, Reddit, Twitter and more.


As a case study it’s imperative to watch their growth and trajectory vs the competition in the early days of the blockchain oracle space, comparing with projects such as BAND Protocol. Chainlink completely demolished their competitors, because their crypto meme marketing built such a large and loyal fanbase and established group discipline including the practice of "HODLING" or to "HODL" which essentially meant followers would hold the LINK token, no matter what the price action, whether it crashed or grew, the Link Marine army of Chainlink would always refuse to sell, and hold onto tokens for the long term.



It is now well recognized and understood that using memes are an effective and powerful tool to boosting Web3 exposure, not just to crypto communities, but the wider internet at large. But when Chainlink started, this was not the case.




THE LINK MARINES:

A LOYAL AND DEDICATED MEME ARMY THAT PUMPED LINK FROM OBSCURITY INTO A MULTI-BILLION PROJECT



Formation of loyal community with a real name “LINK MARINES”, hierarchy, discipline “NEVER SELLING”, sense of friendship and belonging, art that appealed to the users of /biz/, common enemies such as BAND & journalists/crypto twitter who dismissed Chainlink. Active marine accounts on twitter provided an open front to engage with the enemy and rally the troops.


Intense and frequent posting of Link Marines and possible paid operatives from Chainlink was noticeable and they were constantly engaging with anons and conversing, explaining the benefits of LINK.


The Link Marines have taken their group and the larping to the next level with "ranks" determined by the number of LINK cryptocurrency tokens that they each have. The highest rank, known as the “General of Chainlink” or “Five-Star General”, is bestowed upon the founder of Chainlink, Mr. Sergey Nazarov. The other positions ranging from Privates with 1-500 LINK going up to Generals with over 500,000 LINK tokens.



CHAINLINK MEMES: PROPAGANDA MASTERPIECES


I have been told on multiple occasions that Chainlink hired people to create art and memes, and I have no reason to doubt it. A lot of the art is not a 5 min job on photoshop or paint.


These are works that are originally illustrated and would take a few hours each at least from at least, a semi-pro.


Investing in art, draws in huge attention and since memes are the currency of internet culture, they were a huge magnet to to the early DeFi adopters of Chainlink.


Sergei Nazarov was founder defied by the Link Marines, posed as a revolutionary hero or even a messianic figure, coming to save the Marines (often depicted as Pepe the Frog), and lead them to financial victory.

Crypto Meme Marketing for Web3.0 showing the power of shilling, 4chan /biz and dedicated content marketing.
Sergey Nazarov leads the Pepe Link Marines

We can see here in this meme below the use of the hexagonal Chainlink logo in everything from the lights over the curtain rail, to the side table, the carpet, the bedside lamp base and even the wallpaper!


Movie posters edited from Photoshop became a clever meme content tactic, portraying Sergey Nazarov as the hero.




4CHAN, /BIZ/ AND THE UNDERGROUND MEME SHILLING


What Chainlink accomplished with a ground-breaking guerrilla-marketing tactic of meme distribution, building a devoted fanatic army of token holders and an underground culture of next-level shilling on /biz/ was astounding and bore enormous results. This creative, content strategy worked wonders and set the precedent for future use of memes in crypto projects that we see to this very day including Dog Coins (Doge, Shiba et.) NFT animals (Bored Ape Yacht Club etc.) and dedicated meme making positions that we now see advertised at top crypto projects.


Crypto shilling is also now a commons service sought after by many Web3.0, crypto and blockchain projects, viewing shilling services for crypto as an important part of the marketing process, gaining awareness and visibility for their NFT collection, DeFi protocol, P2E game or cryptocurrency tool.


Chainlink took over the imageboard 4chan, with the popular /biz/ section being inundated with talk about Chainlink, with Link Marines steering conversations towards LINK, making threads about LINK and posting memes about Chainlink.


Knowledge and “insider” research was 'leaked' on the 4chan /biz/ internet forum, meaning the anonymous forum users felt special as they were gaining access to exclusive investment insights. In reality, many of these long research posts were compiled from all public information. Nonetheless, the good research was appreciated.


Early posts by a user named "AssBlaster" let users down a rabbit hole, with this poster creating a treasure hunt of "leaks" related to Chainlink, as the poster claimed to be an insider who was an employee with a company that worked directly with Chainlink.

This user became very popular, and well followed, with news even travelling to reddit and other social media.


With this crypto marketing case study in mind, we can conclude with the following tactics to remember:


  • Create a set of meme characters for your campaign, you can either deify the founder(s) or use existing crypto meme characters such as Pepe, Wojak, Bogdanoff, Sminem, Doge, Shiba, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Crypto Punks etc.

  • Form a narrative and story around your project and those characters. Do you have friends and partners? Does your crypto project have enemies or competition? How can you depict your competition in memes? Are there obstacles to overcome? Can those be translated into meme illustrations?

  • Create discipline, mantras, slogans and an identity for your crypto tribe and web3 followers. Make sure to reward the key performers in Telegram, Discord, 4chan, Reddit and crypto TikTok communities.

  • Reward crypto meme makers, but don't rely on them if they are inconsistently producing. Remember there is a big difference between amateurs and professionals. A professional crypto marketing content agency that specialises in crypto meme marketing will always perform better in the long run then using free or low paid labour in crypto meme competitions with example $50 prizes. The incentives are simply not great enough and stable enough to keep good artists on a long term basis.

  • Look at a variety of crypto meme marketing content types, not just the standard crypto memes but also crypto pixel art, crypto isometric pixel art, advanced illustrations, crypto telegram stickers, GIFs and 3D animation.

  • Look at crypto shilling and distribution, don't feel ashamed of this. It's important to distribute the meme content you create, using crypto shilling on biz is a very common tactic by many top projects including Algorand, Chainlink, Ripple and more. Shilling can be led on discord and reddit too, but a stricter and more disciplined approach is required because of moderators. Contact us at the Meme Studio to learn more about the use of crypto shillers and effective shiling across 4chan /biz/ and more platforms.


For DeFi projects, play to earn games (P2E), NFT collections and other crypto and blockchain teams needing crypto meme marketing, similar to Chainlink please do not hesitate to contact The Meme Studio.

We are the world leaders in this niche of crypto meme marketing and are always free to hear your project requirements, whether it be memes, Telegrams tickers, 3D crypto animation with a Web3 audience in mind, crypto shilling, NFT art and NFT illustration, 2D wojak animation, 2D crypto animations using ToonBoom Harmony, crypto GIFs and more!



Article written by Radomir Kobryn-Coletti





Commonly Asked Questions:


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